Car 3

Mrs. Maureen Stuart

Outward appearance

Beige winter coat, very slightly grubby. Her cheeks and chin are round. Her chamois skin no longer holds make up. She is unvarnished except for her artificially tawny hair. Holds shut a battered copy of Duncton Wood, a novel about moles. She is not reading it, but her lips move silently.

Inside information

Recently made redundant from a privatized public utility. She still catches the morning train because she cannot stand the silence of the house or being cooped up with her husband. She is going to the German Romanticism exhibition . Her ex-boss thought she was stupid. That will show him.

What she is doing or thinking

Composing a letter to the Council about her proposed cattery. A neighbour has complained. She savours each phrase. "As for noise and odours, Mr Peeling knows nothing about well run catteries. Cats that are warm, fed, cared for and cleaned are quiet and do not smell. Mr Peeling allows his dog to foul the pavements and to bark. Cats do not at least bark."

She realizes that this is her stop, and leaps to her feet. She meant to read her beloved book, but has spent the last half hour, the last six months in a rage. This is getting silly, Mo, she tells herself. She has a vision of her cattery, its concrete floors burnished like metal. She sees herself in the Hayward Gallery with glasses, reading the catalogue. I really am not stupid. I can decide, she realizes, to have some fun. She gets out at Waterloo.

Her book has been left behind.

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